What’s the difference between publicity and PR?

By Alexandria Easland

18720073_sPublicity and public relations are often wrongfully considered one and the same. In fact, publicity is just one aspect of public relations.

Publicity concerns a company, organization or individual’s presence in the media. Forms of publicity include news stories, articles and event information. Publicity creates public awareness and attention around a brand, and publicists gain publicity for their clients by promoting.

Unlike public relations, publicity is used solely to attract attention. It differs from PR in the sense that public relations focuses on more than just public attention. The intent in public relations is to accomplish an organization’s stated goals by sending strategic messages to the appropriate audiences in hopes of impacting their knowledge, behaviors or attitudes. In short, PR manages the overall reputation of the client while simultaneously building relationships among all of those who are affected by it. As a management function, PR focuses on building relationships and managing an image.

Although pitching a story, event or the latest development to the media is important in public relations, it isn’t the only aspect of the job. In public relations, publicity is viewed as a way to gain the client media coverage in a cost-efficient and immediate manner. Saying that publicity is the same as public relations ignores the true goals and objectives of each discipline and fails to acknowledge the remaining responsibilities of a PR practitioner.

PR pros’ responsibilities and tools include (and are not limited to):

Clearly, public relations practitioners do more than just manage publicity. To learn more about the value of public relations and what it can do for you, download Axia’s free Maximizing Your Public Relations Investment guide today.



Alexandria Easland is a public relations student at San Diego State University. She has public relations experience in the non-profit and government sectors and specializes in the media relations and research aspect of public relations.

 

Featured image credit: 123rf.com

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Topics: Public Relations, Featured

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